Chesterton Tribune



Port of Indiana Burns Harbor had great year in 2013

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The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor had its best year since 2006 and its second best since 1998, the Ports of Indiana is reporting.

In 2013, the Port at Burns Harbor handled 2.5 million tons of cargo, 17 percent better than the 2012 total and 23 percent better than the previous five-year average.

The Port at Burns Harbor saw increases in shipments of steel, fertilizer, road salt, coal, and limestone.

Meanwhile, all three of the Ports of Indiana handled a total of 8.3 million tons of cargo, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year, third highest total in the organization's 52-year history, and the highest since 2006. Strong shipments of coal, steel, and agricultural-related products helped drive significant increases in annual tonnage at all three of the state's ports.

“Our ports finished the year on a record pace, which does create some optimism for 2014,” Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper said. “In 2013, our ports handled more steel, fertilizer, and minerals than any year in recent history. Steel, ag products, and coal make up over 80 percent of the shipments at our three ports, so when those cargoes are up it bodes well for shipping in Indiana. It was good to see ag cargoes rebound in 2013 after the previous year's drought, and the positive trend in manufacturing creates a brighter outlook for future steel shipments.”

In the fourth quarter of 2013, the Ports of Indiana handled nearly 3 million tons of cargo, which is the highest total for any quarter since the ports opened. The Ports of Indiana has now experienced significant growth in shipments for five of the last six years.

“Maritime shipments are heavily influenced by manufacturing trends and agricultural markets, so it's gratifying to see steady growth in shipments over multiple years,” Cooper said. “This speaks to the success of the world-class companies located at our ports and their efforts to leverage the ports' multimodal connections to create sustainable competitive advantages that allow them to grow their businesses. Indiana's ports are built on a truly unique public-private partnership that has produced tremendous results for over 50 years.”

On the Ohio River, the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville recorded its highest annual tonnage since 2006 at 1.6 million tons, up 19 percent from 2012, with increased shipments of grain, steel, oils, and minerals. As a result of a robust 2013 harvest, the port finished with its highest fourth quarter tonnage--nearly 80 percent more than the quarterly average for the previous five years.

The Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon also finished strong in 2013 with its highest quarterly shipments ever and handled 4.2 million tons for the year --up 21 percent from 2012. Key drivers for the Ohio River port were increases in coal, grain, fertilizer, coke, and minerals. The fourth quarter was the first time port shipments exceeded half a million tons in three consecutive months and was more than 50 percent higher than the average quarter in the last five years.

The Ports of Indiana is a statewide, self-funding port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. For more information, visit


Posted 1/24/2014